Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Suppression of the Truth

The truth that is our Savior, Jesus Christ is under attack. While the secular world openly maligns Christians and their faith, this attack is much more insidious. This attack comes from the very institution charged to uphold the truths of the Christian faith, one of our Lord’s own churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The front page of the ELCA website proclaims that the ELCA accepts the following creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church: the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Augsburg Confessions. Chapter III — The Son of God, confesses: …..Our churches also teach that the Word – that is, the Son of God – took on man’s nature in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary. So there are two natures, divine and human, inseparably conjoined in the unity of his person, one Christ, true God and true man....  

But on the ELCA web-site they proclaim that: This statement, ......has not closed the doctrinal debate over Jesus’ conception for many Lutherans, and by inference that includes ELCA members. So for the ELCA the debate still rages as to the validity of the divine birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary. Luke 1:26-38, “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to a virgin...named Mary. ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you...You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus... Mary asked the angel, ‘How will this be since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God’.” Matthew 1:18-25, “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit... An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said, Joseph do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit...Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. He gave him the name Jesus.”  These verses make it clear that Mary, who was a virgin, conceived through the Holy Spirit, and declares that Jesus is truly human and divine Son of God.

Luther’s explanation of Second Article of the Apostle’s Creed states; "I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won [delivered] me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, in order that I may be [wholly] His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true." The ELCA is skeptical of the very truths that it is charged to uphold and preach to the world. Furthermore, those that would reject this false teaching and stand true to God’s Word are persecuted and admonished by the leadership of the ELCA. The Holy Spirit inspired the authors of Scripture to make known what our Lord expects of us. Scripture is unmistakably clear in emphasizing the moral and ethical behavior that our God expects his children to follow. Why is it so difficult for the leaders of the ELCA to understand that there is a reason that our God wants us to behave in a certain manner? Yet, this progressive denomination continues to cast doubt upon our Lord’s intent by challenging the veracity of the Biblical authors that were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Bishop Mark Hanson said that this is a time for reconciling and calls for restraint and civility. He cites the Small Catechism, Luther’s explanation of the Eighth Commandment, We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything. This is an admonition to those that embrace our Lord’s Word and choose to keep Him at the center of our lives. Bishop Hanson accuses those who stand up for God’s Word and challenge this false gospel that the ELCA is perpetrating upon those susceptible to these false teachings, as liars. And now, the leadership of the ELCA punishes pastors that remain true to Scripture and have the audacity to challenge these heretical teachings.

Romans 1:18-19, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” What is problematic for the leaders and scholars of the ELCA is that by their very status with the church, God’s will has been made very clear to them. The membership of the ELCA trusts the leadership to uphold proper doctrine and teaching. Those who lead God’s church are willfully straying from the path that God has set before them, putting their membership at risk. In this secular world, Christians deal with enough derision and persecution without our own ELCA scholars rejecting the very tenets of our faith. These learned Biblical scholars of the ELCA discredit Scripture in order to advance their secular desires and hide the truth from those thirsting to hear God’s Word. They alter doctrine to feed the desires of those that long to hear that their behavior is acceptable in God’s eyes. These leaders and scholars of the ELCA reject the validity of Scripture and uphold their secular aspirations, defiantly declaring God’s Word a book of faith stories that are not always pertinent to this time and place. They twist the words of Scripture to justify their false teachings and declare that God is telling us something new. This truth is self evident; that God sent His only Son, in human form, to take upon Himself all our sins, to suffer and die in our place and to defeat death so that we may live. Yet, the leadership and Biblical scholars of the ELCA seek to suppress the truth of our Lord’s victory and supplant it with their more enlightened and modern sensibilities.

How very sad this must make our God. Those that are charged to uphold the doctrine of our Christian faith are leading the faithful on a path away from Him. Will these enlightened leaders and scholars of the ELCA have their names written in the Book of Life at the final day of judgment? Will our Lord welcome them as good and faithful servants, or will He separate them from the wheat and throw them into the burning fire? Our path to salvation has been paid for with the blood of our Savior. Do not place your gift of grace at risk by following the false gospel promoted by the ELCA. Do proclaim His Word everywhere and to everyone!

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